Friday, December 25, 2009

Fish Night

We had our big holiday celebration on Christmas eve. We serve fish, which is an italian tradition, and technically shouldn't serve meat, but my mom brought a ham. My hub-nut bbq'd some really nice ahi tuna and salmon, and I baked some tilapia wrapped in parchment and cooked a bit of scallops. My hub-nut's mom brought some pesce stocco, which is a cod soup - the cod is reconstituted - sounds weird but it's good, and some fried cod.

My sis in law brought some very lovely arancini, which are yummy rice balls filled with meat or cheese - fried (so fattening, but who cares when it tastes so good.) She also brought a truck load of home baked goodies.

My sister brought a home made apple pie - it was sucked up with nary a left over.

We ate and ate, so there are barely any left overs, and my waist line has expanded somewhat, and will continue to do so as we finish up all the baked sweets.

My favorite part of the evening was our white elephant gift exchange where gifts like a ceramic smoking monkey, a thrift store carved wooden head and Superman underpants were part of the cache of weird gifts.

On Christmas, we headed over to my bro-in-laws for some home made pizza. Unfortunately, half the guests had bad colds. Fortunately, you feed a cold.

Hope your holidays were wonderful and well-fed.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Groucho Marx - You Bet Your Life - in Torrance

Mayor of Torrance, Albert Isen, bantering with Groucho Marx on "You Bet Your Life".

This wasn't the only Torrance resident to appear on the show. Here's another episode where a Torrance denizen appears. (The video was too long to post).

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Very Kitschy Christmas

Last year's Christmas Gewgaws, here, and here, and here...

...all come together in this little video I've thrown together for you to enjoy. The gewgaws, ornaments and various stuffage represent years of collecting - some of the glass balls and glass ball strands are 50-70 years old. The manger items could have been purchased 50 years ago at Woolworths for 15 cents a piece. However, there are new items - the Buzz Lightyear and Star Wars ornaments are relatively new - as well as 'loving hands at home' handmade stuff too.

I apologize for the poor quality - I'm as blind as a bat, and can't tell when something is out of focus. I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be doing over the next few crazy weeks, so this will have to hold you for the time being. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sucked into the tribe again


I was involved with an online game about a year ago. It took over my life. In the end, I was invaded and lost the village I cared for lovingly for months.

The game? Tribal Wars. My son-nut has convinced me to join once again, which I did, contrary to any sense I may have.

My hub-nut is a major player on World 23. He's been playing for quite some time and has amassed a significant collection of villages. I suspect it's his management skills that have allowed him to prosper, where I had failed miserably. However, he started a new village on my world, and is giving me advice, so maybe I'll last longer than last time. The family who plays together...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bah Humbug

I must confess I prefer Halloween to Christmas.

The best part about Halloween is it's a cheap holiday - typically, there is only snack foods and candy involved.

Christmas is quite another story. Every year I swear I'm not going to drop a cartload of cash, and every year I fail miserably.

So far, I've purchased these for my niece - I've always wanted a set, and so I'm foisting my regret on her. I've also purchased this for my son - the story behind this is he is taking Turkish as a language this year. It will only serve a practical purpose if he decides to work for the FBI.

My favorite gift buying is for our white elephant exchange - I pride myself on finding the most tacky and useless items for less than $5. I plan on ordering some items from the Archie McPhee catalog. Our family likes to fight over items during this exchange.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gardena Shootout

This incident is of interest to me - I grew up in the neighborhood. I won't say precisely where, but my parents still live in the neighborhood. I know (casually, not biblically) the man accused of the shooting. He's relatively new to the neighborhood, compared with my parents, but he's lived there for at least 10 years, if not longer. No, he's not a crazy guy - just a quiet man in a quiet neighborhood.

To clear up any misinformation about the area, it's very quiet and peaceful - most of the residents are the same people who've lived there from the beginning. Almost all are asian. There are just a few kids living around there.

I visit there regularly.

The neighborhood is a big cul-de-sac/ not-a-through street, flanked by smaller cul-de-sacs. There's one way in and out, if you're driving a car. The house in question has a low wall directly to the south, although the house next door has a wall and a chain link fence that is around 15 feet high - there's a swimming pool at the school.

I'm trying to figure out where the kids who were climbing the fence were going. The neighborhood doesn't provide a convenient short cut because the wall flanking the north end is at least 10 feet high. Frankly, you'd probably save more time just walking down Evelyn. At one time there were dozens of kids living on the block - no one used that wall for a short cut, and yes, we all attended high school at Gardena.

Thankfully, no one got killed, which should be lesson to wall climbing teens everywhere.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Lights - The Game

Every year at this time, my family plays the Christmas Lights! Game - I take credit for its invention (if you play this game, please email me so I can tell you where to mail my royalty checks.)

The game is played while driving in the car at night, typically while on the way home from the store, or practice. The rules are simple - the first person to spot homes with Christmas lights along the road yells "Christmas Lights!". The person to spot the most lights by the time we pull into our driveway wins.

When my son-nut was little, my hub-nut or I always won - mostly because we're a bunch of competitive jerks who wouldn't give our kid a break, but also because he was considerably shorter and he sat in the back seat, thereby getting the worst view in the car.

Now that son-nut is older, taller, and rides shotgun, he claims he is not interested in participating in the game. However, once I start yelling "Christmas Lights" three or four times, he is compelled by an invisible force (and the fact that he's matured into a competitive jerk like his parents) to start playing.

He's been winning, which of course annoys me because he gloats even more than I do when I win.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Yeah for chestnuts!

Yeah for their hot steamy center!

Yeah for their low fat calories!

Yeah for their yummy taste!

Yeah when the shells peel right off!

Boo when one assplodes in the oven, coating the interior in chestnut shrapnel.

Boo when the shells stick to the nut and you have to scrape them with your teeth.

Boo because they take so long to cook.

Boo when the last one you peel open is rotten.